This past week, we got the fingerlings transferred into the bigger ponds to encourage them to grow. There were 7500 fingerlings split between the two tanks. They are now in the mud bottomed ponds. We have to plan how much to feed them, and which pond to put them in based on how fast, or slow, we need them to grow. In order to track this, we came up with a quick reference chart that can be updated readily. It's hanging in the feed shack. This reference will identify which pond what size of fish are in it, how many of them there are, when they were placed there, the last time it was cleaned, and what size of food the fish are currently eating. Its been pretty useful.
We have had guests in the Casita all week as well. Jeff and Jeannie joined us from Arizona. They had been traveling three weeks by the time they got to Hush Valley.
We didn't hesitate to give them the full experience. Jeff helped round up some fingerlings for a client that wanted 'baby fish'.
He also got a little bull wrangling action when the gate was left open and some stray cows came on in.
We were all richly rewarded for our efforts. On our way to a friends house in Copey for coffee, a few Quetzel were hanging out near the road. Watching cars go by. We were able to get up close and get some great shots of them!
We also took a trip to up to an incredible organic farm. Santa Cecilia. They grow completely organic, and believe in serving the local neighborhoods first.
We purchased some incredible fresas (strawberries), brocoli, coliflor, rabano ( radish), zanahoria (carrot), apio ( celery), papas ( potatoes) tomate, remolacha (beets), lechuga (lettuce), col rizada (kale) and pepino ( cucumber). We also stopped for some 100% organic apple juice. All of it totaled just over $15.00 USD.
They do a lot more than just vegetables there as well. They have chickens, sheep, goats, oxen, cows, etc. All fed organically. Its a pretty incredible operation, and we are happy to set up tours of the farm for our guests staying with us!
Lots of progress on the casita this week, and its looking really great! Everyday, its easier to see what a beautiful addition this will make to the farm. Check out our new Instagram page for updated photos of progress!
We made it! But you just never know.
The afternoon prior to leaving, we lost power. Unbeknownst to us, two rotted trees had fallen in the wind, and blocked the only current open road out of town. Our friend, Jonathon called and asked us to meet him with our chainsaw to come clear the roadway. Chainsaws are expensive here, and thus very valuable. We piled on the ATV and went down to get to work.
Wasn't long before multiple men and dogs showed up to check out the scene. After a bit, it was a little more like a chainsaw competition at our local county fair. A little less we- have- to- get-this- road- clear, and a lot more - Hey, check out what I can do with a chainsaw!
But, we got the road cleared in time for our epic first bus ride to the Big City the following day.
Taking the bus was actually quite comfortable. Not at all how they depict Central American bus rides in the movies, thankfully. What we had failed to factor in was ( and this is good to note if you ever plan to tour in Costa Rica), the bus depot is in San Jose. Even though the Airport is the 'Juan Santa Maria International Airport', the airport is actually in the neighboring city, Alejuela. Of course, we did not realize this until we were in the City with all of our luggage, many kilometers from the actual airport. So we grabbed a cab and headed that way. It cost about 13,000 Colones or about $23.00. Still, the trip cost under $12.00 per person, and we were pretty pleased with that. We would do it again without hesitation.
Our friend Elly, who owns the dairy with her husband Abel, picked us up from the airport when we returned yesterday. Sure made us feel like locals! We went by her city house in Santa Ana. She made us breakfast, and Quinn got to go swimming!
Her home is in a lovely Co-op neighborhood. We are finding that housing in Costa Rica is as diverse as the ecology. This neighborhood was originally developed for small vacation homes to escape the city. Now, its a residential neighborhood with a pool and many other amenities. It was lovely.
When we arrived in Santa Maria, we discovered there was a festival going on downtown. There seems to be a lot of festivals here. This is a largely Catholic country, and this is the week of Mardi Gras. There will be festivals downtown until Ash Wednesday. Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. I have provided a link to information about it for the unfamiliar. www.calendarpedia.com/when-is/lent.html
In the Catholic belief, Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
This year, Lent falls on Valentine's day.
Saturday's festival featured an Ox cart parade. Ox carts are a tradition in Costa Rica. They have been used for centuries as transportation for goods and farming.
There were a lot of people at the festival. Partly because its coffee harvesting season, and there are a lot more people in the region, here to pick the coffee. Many people come from Panama to pick the coffee cherries. Many indigenous Costa Ricans also pick coffee.
These cultures are easy to spot as the women wear very distinct clothing.
It's the dressing style for the people known as Guaymies. They are the largest surviving native people in Costa Rica. In the 1960s, the Guaymas, also called Ngöbegues, emigrated from Panama to Costa Rica.
When we finally made it to our friend Allen's street, where our vehicle was parked, we found that the entry way to his road had completely washed out that morning. This happens occasionally in Costa Rica, we have found. Fortunately, Elly is savvy, and knew a back route. We retrieved our car and made it home safe and sound.
Casita Update- the frame for the new casita has been placed. It has a spectacular view of the rock garden and river! Work will begin in earnest this week with a completion date of March 1, we hope!
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for rapid build out updates!
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!